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Creator of pro-Trump meme sentenced to 10 years in prison

 April 2, 2023

Douglass Mackey (aka Ricky Vaughn) was convicted on Friday over a meme he posted during the 2016 presidential election period. The Trump supporter could face up to 10 years in jail over a “scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”

Mackey, along with his colleagues, had posted a series of pictures on social media which appeared to be ads sponsored by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, urging people to vote by text.

Voting by text is not allowed in the US.

According to a statement from US Attorney Breon Peace, “Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election.”

Peace then added, “Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote.”

Although the Justice Department originally found his actions protected by the First Amendment, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, NY later decided that this was actually election interference. 

The charges against Mackey were issued four years after the offense, shortly after Joe Biden took office, sparking outrage.

Mackey was officially arrested in Florida in January of 2021.

Meme Material?

Although Mackey claims his memes were satirical, many see them as a deliberate attempt to thwart the election outcome.

For example, one of his posts featured a black woman alongside an “African Americans for President Hillary” sign, with a message telling people to “Avoid the line. Vote from Home. Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925.”

The memes made their way through Twitter during September and November prior to the election.

Plenty of people believe that Mackey had full intention of deceiving the public, as he went to great lengths to copy Clinton’s style and had even added official-looking fine print including a sentence stating that the campaign was “Paid for by Hillary For President 2016.”

Almost 5000 people texted the number, according to the Justice Department. However, it is believed that some of the participants were in on the joke.

Mackey had previously made other memes that featured various celebrities in photoshopped “MAGA” hats, endorsing Donald Trump.

High Levels Hypocrisy 

Some Twitter users were quick to point out that another comedian, Kristina Wong, posted a very similar joke, only aimed at Trump supporters. Wong’s post is still up to this day. Mackey, however, had his entire account suspended.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson thought this attack on Mackey proved that the left had a “total lack of sense of humor.” He specifically called out Hillary Clinton for her silence on the matter, considering that she is at the center of the scandal.

“Hillary Clinton apparently is ok with sending a man to prison for ten years for making fun of her. If you’re wondering if she’s a cruel and horrible person, the answer is yes,” he said.

The case is still in development, with Twitter saying they’ve been working “closely with appropriate authorities on the issue.” Mackey is expected to face sentencing on August 16th later this year.

Mackey’s attorney Andrew Frisch remains optimistic, stating that they plan on appealing the verdict.